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Math phobia and abacus - Myths and Facts!

Updated: Oct 16, 2023



Out of all the subjects included in academics, mathematics is the one that is clearly the scariest for quite a number of students. While there are a selected few who excel at calculation skills and are in love with mathematics throughout their lives, for most others, it remains a horrifying nightmare. But whether you love it or hate it like a horrifying Bollywood movie villain, it remains an undisputed reality that

Mathematics is the deciding factor in most competitive exams, making it the ultimate factor responsible for academic and professional success.


Mostly, when a child is scared of math and starts avoiding it, it is considered by the parents and teachers that the child is circumventing the subject without actually thinking that there really is a scientific and logical reason why the child is not comfortable with math.


Mostly, they do not realise that math phobia is actually a condition that, if not addressed at the right time, may lead to a lifelong detachment of the child from a subject that is actually really imperative.


Math phobia: The reason.


Before going to the solution, let us first understand the reason for math phobia. Right from the early nursery class when education starts, a child is taught to refer to symbols and images, like when we say an apple, the child not only sees an apple but is also able to correlate the word with the fruit. Thus, later on, the child is also able to visualise the apple by recollecting the image. This involves the right brain of the child, which is responsible for visualisation.


When mathematics is introduced, the child is not able to visualise the numbers in the form of an image, and this begins the detachment from the subject. Neither the child is able to correlate the numbers with images, nor are they able to visualise the same. This is the first step in the initiation of a condition in which the child starts avoiding the subject and starts suffering from math phobia.


Math phobia: How to overcome?


Like a child is given vaccines in early childhood so that they do not suffer from deadly diseases at a later stage of their life, it is imperative to work in early childhood so that at a later stage of their academic life they do not suffer from math Phobia. If the kids start correlating numbers with images and visualising the numbers in the form of images, the problem can be solved. They will visualise every number in the form of an image and do the calculations in the right hemisphere of their brain, resulting in not only comfort with the subject but also improved accuracy and speed of calculation.


Abacus, the perfect tool to overcome math phobia.


The abacus is a calculating instrument invented some three thousand years ago in ancient China for doing calculations. In an abacus, there are beads on a frame of rods. Each bead represents a certain value, and calculations are done by moving the beads on bars. This tool, when used by kids at a certain age to do calculations using a specific technique, is surprisingly the best way to overcome math phobia.


The calculations on the abacus are done with synchronised use of both hands, which activates both hemispheres of the brain. The kids practising abacus start visualising the numbers in the form of images of bead positions. It can be understood like this: when a kid doing abacus is told a numerical, the numbers are received in the logical or left hemisphere of the brain, from where they are transferred into the right hemisphere, where they get converted into the image of a bead position. The child does calculations by moving the beads in the right hemisphere of the brain and getting an image of the result. This image of the result is then transferred into the left hemisphere, where it again gets converted into numbers, and the child gives an instant answer.


This helps the child develop a connection with numbers by converting them into bead images. Proactive Abacus is one such brand that has been helping kids fight and overcome math phobia for almost a decade with over 850 centres. Thousands of students have taken mental math training at Proactive Abacus and are now best friends with mathematics. You can also search for the nearest Proactive Abacus centre and enrol your child to make them a math champion.








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